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I'm beginning to learn Spanish, and one of the sentences I'm learning is

Me quedo en mi casa

Which means "I stay at home". So, if the "quedo" is conjugated for yo and not for me, like in "me gusta", why is it "me quedo"?

1

Good question, glad you asked. There are several things to clear up.

  1. Let's make sure you understand this verb, quedarse. It's a reflexive verb that means to stay. Literally, "Yo me quedo quieto" means "I keep myself still." Also, literally, "Yo me quedo en mi casa" means "I keep myself in my home."
  2. As someone else pointed out, the subject is omitted because, well, that's one of the fun things about Spanish. It's implied in the conjugation of the verb, and so you can leave it out, for a more elegant expression. So, "Yo me quedo" = "Me quedo." The two versions are equivalent.
  3. "Me gusta" is a different kettle of fish. "Me gusta el silencio" means, literally, "Silence pleases me." So, again translating literally just for pedagogical purposes, "Me gusta" means "It pleases me" -- we'd have to see the context to be sure what pleases you, in other words, what you like.

Bonus tip: "Me quedo en casa" would be more elegant still. Kind of like in English, "at home" is enough -- you don't need to say "at my home."

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The main meaning of quedar (to stay, to remain) is usually pronominal in Spanish, as others have said. You can sometimes use it in non-pronominal form, but it is a fairly formal use. For instance, a usual ending for a formal letter is:

Quedo a la espera de sus noticias.

Meaning I remain in wait for your answer, more or less. Or it can take a somewhat euphemistical meaning:

Quedó inválido a causa de sus heridas.

Meaning he was disabled due to his injuries.

However, the verb quedar has a non-pronominal use, more coloquial, which is to agree, specially to agree on a meeting. This way:

He quedado con Juan.

Would not mean I have stayed with Juan, but I have agreed to meet Juan. If we go to your example:

Me quedo en mi casa.

means I stay at home; but:

Quedo en mi casa.

would mean I usually meet with my friends at home. As you can see, the meaning is quite different.

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Because "me" is not the subject of the phrase, and as you guessed correctly "Yo" is the actual subject, the full phrase would be:

Yo me quedo en mi casa

The thing is in Spanish we often omit the subject.


Also, this is not part of the main question, but be careful with your example "me gusta". "Me" is not the subject in this phrase, in fact it is a common mistake even among people whose first language is Spanish.

In a full sentence: "Me gusta el pollo", "el pollo" is the subject.

A common example to illustrate this is to pluralize "el pollo":

Me gustan los pollos

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  • 1
    No. This answer is incomplete. It is a reflexive verb, so 'me' is part of the conjugation. – Paul Apr 7 '17 at 13:55
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This might be an informal answer but I hope it is nevertheless useful. (Spanish is my first language, so I barely have a formal understanding of it.

When "yo" does the action, conjugation is like this:

  • Yo compro comida, Yo compré comida, Yo compraré comida
  • Yo nado en la piscina, Yo nadé en la piscina, Yo nadaré en la piscina
  • Yo estudio para el examen
  • Yo cuido a los demás

But when the action "yo" is doing is over himself, the conjugation is like this:

  • Yo me alimento bien, Yo me alimenté bien, Yo me alimentaré bien
  • Yo me meto a la piscina a nadar, Yo me metí a la piscina a nadar, Yo me meteré a la piscina a nadar
  • Yo me preparo para el examen
  • Yo me cuido
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The construction, "Me quedo en mi casa" literally means, I keep myself at home. The "yo" is understood from the "me" and the conjugation, "quedo."

It's called a "reflexible" construction, of things you do to yourself, like wash yourself, dress yourself, etc.

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